Lead Absorption in a community of potters in Barbados

International Journal of Epidemiology
J P KoplanJ Liddle


In a community of potters in Barbados where lead glazes traditionally have been used, a survey of 12 potters, 19 of their family members, and 24 controls revealed elevated blood lead levels in the potters, their family members, and the neighbours who used pottery for culinary purposes. Dust from the potters' homes and work areas contained lead in concentrations up to 320,000 ppm. Pottery was found to have lead release levels up to 3,125 microgram/ml. Six people had upper extremity tremor associated with elevated blood lead levels. This survey demonstrates the risk of using lead glazes in pottery production to family members of potters as well as the potters themselves and emphasizes the need for surveillance of occupational hazards in developing countries.


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